How Joe Carnahan Survived Making The Grey

by Ethan Alter January 26, 2012 12:30 pm
How Joe Carnahan Survived Making <i>The Grey</i>

If you only know Joe Carnahan as the director of high-octane action movies like Smokin' Aces and The A-Team, his latest film The Grey, which opens in theaters on Friday, may come as a surprise. This spare, stripped-down survival tale follows a small band of men whose plane crashes deep in the Alaskan wilderness and are forced to battle the elements -- from the harsh weather to hungry wolves -- in order to make it back to civilization. Liam Neeson plays the crew's self-appointed leader, Ottway, who is still carrying the emotional scars caused by the recent passing of his beloved wife. More in the spirit of Grizzly Man than an uplifting man vs. nature story like Alive, The Grey was Carnahan's most challenging shoot, but it resulted in one of his most fully-realized movies. The director spoke with TWoP during a recent trip to New York.

I Want My DVD: Tuesday, May 15, 2012

by Ethan Alter May 15, 2012 6:00 am
I Want My DVD: Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Have superpowers, will travel

The Grey: Man Vs. Wild

by Ethan Alter January 27, 2012 6:00 am
<i>The Grey</i>: Man Vs. Wild

Early on in Joe Carnahan's gritty survival tale The Grey, there's a moment that's so serenely peaceful, I almost didn't want it to end, especially knowing what was to come. The scene in question takes place aboard a chartered plane that's flying a crew of oil company grunts to a drilling station in the far reaches of Alaska. Before the aircraft lifted off into the friendly skies, the guys were laughing, talking and busting each other's chops, as if they were in a locker room instead of a mid-size jet. Now that the plane's at cruising altitude though, they're all nabbing some much-needed shuteye. The cabin lights are dimmed, tray tables are up and in a locked position and the passengers are quietly slumbering, their breath misting in the chilled air. It's a beautifully evocative moment -- perhaps the best single scene Carnahan has ever staged -- one that immediately establishes an aura of calm and safety.

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